PDP wants Tobago diaspora help build private sector

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

PDP deputy leader Farley Augustine –

Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) deputy leader Farley Augustine is calling on Tobagonians living abroad to return home and invest their time and talents on the island.

Augustine, who is the party’s hopeful for Chief Secretary, said on Tuesday, if the PDP gets into power the assembly would try to woo the diaspora to help build the private sector

The PDP candidate for Parlatuvier/ L’Anse Fourmi/ Speyside said, “We want the private sector to do well.

“We in the PDP, we’re not saying that the private sector is doing nonsense, let’s forget them, let’s cut them out.”

Augustine said the THA, which employs almost 65 per cent of the island’s workforce, is one of the reasons the private sector is not as robust as it should be.

“One of the reasons why the private sector fail is because in many instances the THA is a direct competitor with the private sector.”

He said the plan is to implement a robust programme to incentivise returning home.

“So, we want to encourage people from the Tobago diaspora to come home. We have more Tobagonians living in Trinidad, living in the US, living around the world in what we call the diasporas – who have money, who have talent, who are well educated, who have things that they can contribute to our society.

“And so, what we would be doing if we are going to incentivise their return home is ensure that we can provide access to land, housing once they have proper proposals for businesses and so on, so that can increase the numbers.”

Augustine said a viable tourism sector is necessary.

“Imagine what it would have felt like where Tobago had 80,000-plus visitors. Imagine 80,000 visitors in addition to those residents on the island – that is a significant boost in population numbers and so that too will help with the economies of scale.”

He said the marketing department of the Tobago House of Assembly would be revamped.

“And please don’t feel if you work marketing department, Farley coming to fire you. We are going to repurpose how we go about this marketing department or marketing board. Our aim is to help you – whatever you’re producing – get your product to the end user.”